• Birgitte Bjerge Poulsen
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This project consists of six chapters. Chapter one consists of the introduction to the topic, and reflections on the historical formulations of sustainability and the discourses in these. This leads to the problem formulation and subsets, which are found in chapter two. Chapter three consists of the methodology which has been used for the research. The methodology for this research has been to conduct a case study, based on hypotheses which have been formulated based on the theoretical framework. In addition to this, the methodological chapter also holds reflections on the limitations which have occurred during the research. Some limitations are of a practical nature, such as time and resources available, while other limitations encountered have been of scientific nature, such as subjectivity and ensuring validity of the project. Lastly, chapter three holds an explanation of the data collection for the research. The data comes from various sources, and counts articles, interviews, reports, press material and policies. Chapter four contains the theoretical framework. The theoretical framework includes several theories, such as theories of international relations, theories specifically concerned with Arctic and Nordic matters, and theories of discourse analysis. Moreover, chapter four contains reflections upon those theories which were also considered for the analysis, but were deselected due to different reasons. Chapter five consists of the analysis. The analysis is initiated with chapter 5.1, which holds a summary of, and reflection upon, the European Policy for the Arctic. Within this chapter, the points of the policy which calls for attention, reflection or analysis are highlighted and discussed. It is concluded that the policy has the expected features, however, it also lacks important points, such as specific action plans and security considerations. Following chapter 5.1, is chapter 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 which each consists of an analysis of the European Policy for the Arctic, based upon the theoretical framework. Chapter 5.1.1 consists of an analysis based on a realist hypothesis, by focusing on how the EU is using sustainability as part of a security and survival agenda. Chapter 5.1.2 holds an analysis based on a liberal hypothesis, and through this focus is on how the EU is promoting sustainability as part of their agenda to normalize and argue their own role in the Arctic based on the aim for interdependence. Chapter 5.2 consists of historical, cultural and political background of the indigenous Sami people in Finnish Lapland. Within this chapter some of the obstacles which the communities have been facing, are described and reflected upon, because the history of Sami communities has an impact on the current issues. Following chapter six, are chapters 5.2.1 and 5.2.2, which holds the analysis of how Sámi communities formulate sustainability. Chapter 5.2.1 consists of an analysis based on a postcolonial hypothesis. Within this, it is argued that Sami representatives are using sustainability to gain power within a sovereignty game. Chapter 5.2.2 consists of an analysis based on the identity hypothesis, which argues that Sami communities are promoting a sustainability discourse through which sustainability is viewed as being part of the local identity and thus cannot be achieved by outsiders. Based on the findings in the hypotheses and analysis throughout chapter five, a discussion and conclusion is made in chapter six. The conclusion is that there are discrepancies between how the EU formulates sustainability, and how Sámi people formulate sustainability, and that the discourses which are promoted by the EU and Sámi people shows that each of these actors has the agenda of ensuring increased level of power for themselves. Lastly, the research is finalized with a perspective, which considers what the outcome would have been if other theoretical or methodological choices were made.
Publication date20 Dec 2016
Number of pages64
ID: 245810769